As you get older, it is important that you talk to your loved ones about healthcare planning and end-of-life wishes. Though you may want to just enjoy any time that you get to spend together, the truth is that you need to discuss certain things that may be uncomfortable to talk about. You don't want to wait until it is too late to talk about these things.
So, what are they? Here are some important conversations that you need to have (and soon).
Your healthcare and end-of-life wishes
It is very important that you take the time to talk to your loved ones about your healthcare and end-of-life wishes. If you are having any health concerns, bring them up with your loved ones. Let them know what medications you are taking for these conditions and what else you need to do about it.
This is also the time to talk about your end-of-life wishes if you become really ill. Do you want the hospital staff to do everything that they can to keep you alive? Do you want to be put on a respirator? Do you want them to do emergency surgery, even if it looks like the outcome isn't good? Let them know what you want to be done and what you want to avoid.
At this point, you may also want to fill out an Advance Directive that will appoint a healthcare advocate for you, in case you become no longer able to advocate for yourself.
If you are struggling at home and need some more help, they need to know. Otherwise, they won't be able to help you. You may avoid talking about this because you don't want them to feel like they have to pitch in more. However, if you are struggling to live at home, you may be able to get help. You can talk to a caregiver agency to figure out how they can make your life a little easier. You may even decide that you would rather move into an assisted living facility to get the care that you need.
Though it can be hard to talk about finances, it is important to bring it up. Talk to them about how much you have saved for retirement. You may want to let them know how you expect to pay for your medical expenses if they grow. Also, if you end up in an assisted living facility, they need to know how to pay for it.
Most adults have a will and some sort of plan in place for when they are gone. It is important that you show your loved ones where your important paperwork is and where they can find your will. Let them know what you want done with your body when you are gone. Do you already have a burial plot, or are you going to be cremated? Do you have an idea of any services that you may like to have? The more information that you can give your loved ones, the less they will have to worry about when you are gone.
Though it can be hard to talk to your loved ones, you need to do it before it is too late. Keep them informed of any health concerns that you may have. Let them know what you want to be done medically if you find yourself unable to speak up. Talk to them about needing some extra help or if you want to move into an assisted living facility. Also, talk to them about your finances and how you are prepared to deal with whatever the future throws your way.
Moab Regional Hospital will host an informative presentation on the importance of healthcare planning and how to begin important conversations about healthcare planning and end-of-life wishes with loved ones. Please join Dr. Kathy Williams, Family Medicine physician at Moab Regional Hospital, Christina Sloan, founding member of the Sloan Law Firm, and Kristine Curtis, Registered Nurse with Grand County Hospice, on Tuesday, July 13th at 6pm via Facebook Live. On Thursday, July 15th at 6pm, Moab Regional Hospital will host an in-person workshop to answer questions about the Utah Advance Directive form that can be found at www.ucoa.utah.edu/directives.
Questions? Please call 435-719-3683 or go to www.mrhmoab.org/events.